The employability advantage: embedding skills through a university-wide language programme

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In an ever unstable job market, improving the employability skills of graduates comes very high in the priorities of languages departments. As the employment of graduates appears among the performance indicators of institutions in higher education, universities are focussing more and more upon the development of employability related skills to enhance students’ prospects in the job market. All UK universities are measured on the first jobs that their students acquire after graduation. In response to this, Coventry University implemented numerous new strategies to emphasise and stress the importance of education for employability. This chapter will report on the Institution-Wide Language Provision (IWLP) and its explicit link to the higher education employability agenda. IWLPs typically cater for students who want to study a language alongside their degree subject in addition to, or as part of, their main degree course. Uniquely, Coventry University offers language modules to undergraduate students as part of a scheme called Add+vantage. These modules are designed to embed employability into undergraduate courses, allowing students to demonstrate language skills and formal learning when entering the graduate job market. The Add+vantage modules are taught over an eleven-week semester, with the eleventh week solely dedicated to employability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmployability for languages: a handbook
EditorsErika Corradini, Kate Borthwick, Angela Gallagher-Brett
Place of PublicationDublin, Ireland
ISBN (Print)978-1-908416-38-4, 978-1-908416-39-1, 978-1-908416-37-7
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

This chapter is under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence


  • institution-wide languages programme
  • IWLP
  • employability
  • languages
  • common European framework of reference for languages
  • CEFR


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